Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division

Berkeley Lab Scientists Brief California Science Advisory Panel for Food and Agriculture

Crops in California's Central Valley

As two-thirds of the fruits and nuts—and over a third of the vegetables—produced in the United States are grown in California, it’s crucial that the Golden State cultivate healthy soils that are resilient to stresses such as climate change, drought, and groundwater overuse. Now scientists at Berkeley Lab’s Earth & Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) and Biosciences Area are contributing to the effort by sharing their expertise with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)’s Science Advisory Panel, a group comprised of farmers, agriculture professionals, and experts in areas such as water, conservation, and resource management. Last week, EESA scientist Peter Nico hosted the panel at the Lab to brief them on research related to developing healthy soils, sustainable groundwater management strategies, and climate-adaptive agriculture.

Read More

New Data Archive Aims to Amplify Impact of Ecosystem Research

data servers

As environmental scientists move towards understanding earth systems at greater resolution than ever before, it’s critical that they have access to needed data sets. Yet much of these data are not archived, publicly available, or collected in a standardized format, due to the multiple challenges of coordinating efforts across independent research groups and institutions worldwide. Now researchers at Berkeley Lab are taking action to address these challenges. Thanks to $3.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Science, the Lab’s Computing Sciences and Earth & Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) are partnering on a three-year project to develop an archive that will serve as a repository for hundreds of DOE-funded research projects.

Read More

EESA Celebrates 40 Years of Innovative Research

Today we celebrate 40 years of innovative research. On July 17, 1977, Berkeley Lab formed the Earth Sciences Division (ESD) in response to the U.S. energy crisis. Now—as the Earth & Environmental Sciences Area (EESA)—it has evolved into a research group studying a broad range of the most pressing environmental and subsurface energy challenges. To commemorate the occasion, EESA has created a a collection of materials that tells the Area’s story: a timeline, a video, and an alumni and friends network page.

Read More

EESA Climate Scientist Featured on KQED Forum Radio Show

Travis O'Brien

The high temperatures that hit the San Francisco Bay Area during the week of June 18 got a lot of residents thinking about warm weather. And with many cities hitting triple digits, many locals, no doubt, were wondering how to handle extreme heat in the future. By the end of the week, Travis O’Brien, a climate scientist with…

Read More

Skin Microbiome Changes With Age, EESA Scientist Discovers

Hoi-Ying Holman

It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms – ­and they’re not just bacteria. A study by a researcher at Berkeley Lab's Earth & Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) and the Medical University of Graz has found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age.

Read More

EESA Researchers Solve Deepwater Horizon Mystery

Gary Andersen

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 is one of the most studied spills in history, yet scientists haven’t agreed on the role of microbes in eating up the oil. Now EESA researchers have identified all of the principal oil-degrading bacteria as well as their mechanisms for chewing up the many different components that make up the released crude oil.

Read More